Jacksons vs AEG - Day 72 – August 19 2013 – Summary

Jackson family is not in court

Dr. Gary Green Testimony

Jackson cross

Green is an expert on medical conflicts of interest who is testifying for AEG Live. He is refuting testimony by a plaintiff’s expert. (AP) Dr. Green said over the weekend he reviewed his testimony from Friday, reviewed materials provided earlier and met with AEG attorneys. (ABC7)

Bloss: Do you remember Dr Matheson testifying that it didn’t appear Phillips had full recollection of phone call between Phillips-Murray? Dr. Green: Yes, it appears from Mr. Phillips’ testimony he does not have a full recollection of the phone call. Dr. Green: Phillips wasn’t able to recall the specifics content of the phone call, but he wrote email that could indicate of what was spoken. “There’s no evidence that Mr Phillips put any pressure on Dr. Murray in that phone call,” Dr. Green explained. Dr. Green said he has not seen any evidence showing Phillips put pressure on Dr. Murray. (ABC7)

Bloss asked Green about the 20+ minute phone call that Phillips had with Murray before the June 20, 2009 meeting. Green was asked to assume that Phillips threatened or pressured Dr. Murray, and whether that changed his opinions in the case. “Assuming he made that threat, that does not change my conclusions,” Green said. (AP)

Bloss asked how Dr. Green reconciled any inconsistency in testimonies. He said he looked if any of them relate to his opinion in the case. “In this case, my opinions are the same as I stated the other day,” Dr. Green expressed. Bloss: Was there any fact inconsistent with your opinion? Dr. Green: Not that I can recall at this time. Bloss: You said your opinion was based on Phillips, Ortega and Gongaware, correct? Dr. Green: That was part of it. (ABC7)

Bloss: Is the basis of your conclusion that AEG Live did not direct Dr. Murray’s action the testimony of Phillips, Gongaware and Ortega? Dr. Green: Part of it yes, but I may have seen other evidence leading me to that conclusion. (ABC7) 

Bloss showed email chain “Trouble at the Front” and meeting on June 20, 2009. (ABC7) Bloss showed Green several emails the jury’s seen throughout the case, including one of AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips’ emails to Kenny Ortega. That message told Ortega not to be any amateur psychiatrist or physician and try to diagnose Michael Jackson’s health issues. Bloss asked Green whether that email changed his opinion that AEG didn’t create a conflict of interest for Conrad Murray. Green said no. (AP)

“There were several accounts of that meeting,” Dr. Green said Bloss: Do you recall Dr. Murray telling AEG to “stay in your lane” and that it showed independency? “There’s a little bit of dispute as to what really happened at that meeting,” Dr. Green testified. (ABC7) Green was asked about his recollection of the testimony about a June 20, 2009 meeting between Ortega, Phillips, Murray and Jackson. The doctor initially said he thought Murray had told Ortega and Phillips to stay out of Jackson’s medical care, but Green recalled after some additional questions by Bloss that Murray’s comments were directed only at Kenny Ortega. (AP)

Dr Green: In my opinion in this case the health interests were aligned and there were no conflict of interests that led to poor medical care (ABC7)

Dr Green said when Phillips asked what was wrong with MJ it could be Murray was following privacy laws not disclosing MJ’s medical condition. Bloss asked if Dr. Murray said ‘sorry, I can’t tell you what’s wrong because of HIPPA privacy laws’? “There’s not requirement that Dr. Murray would have to say that,” Dr. Green opined. (ABC7)

“There’s seems not to be any evidence that Dr. Murray was pressured,” Dr. Green said. “It was ultimately up to Dr. Murray to make decisions in the best interest of his patient and he didn’t do that,” Dr. Green opined. Bloss: Even if Mr. Phillips threatened to cancel the tour, that doesn’t change your opinion? Dr. Green: It still does not take away Dr. Murray’s responsibility with the patient. (ABC7)

Bloss played video depo of Dr Green. He said he accepted as true Phillips’ accounting of what happened in that meeting to issue his opinion. “Mr. Phillip testified under oath, I credited his opinion,” Dr. Green said. He said he also credited other testimony as well, such as Ortega “I have no way of resolving which way is true,” Dr. Green explained about different accounts of the meeting. (ABC7)

Dr. Green said he’s aware of two people feeling MJ needed psychiatric help and some people being afraid MJ could die. Bloss asked about Phillips saying it was not the right time to introduce a new person into MJ’s life after psychiatric help was suggested. Bloss showed email from Hougdahl saying he has watched MJ deteriorate for the past 8 weeks and the singer needed a shrink to get thru all. Dr. Green said he’s not sure if he was given copy of this email to review before or after his deposition. After reading his depo, he recalled he had not received it until after the depo and did not consider this email in his conclusion. (ABC7)

Dr. Matheson brought an article entitled “Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice” to his deposition. The definition Dr. Matheson testified about conflict of interest is not the same formal definition Dr. Green relied upon. “Conflicts of interest are defined as circumstances that create a risk that professional judgments or actions regarding a primary interest.. will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.” Bloss asked if the agreed with the definition above. “I agree that it’s a reasonable definition but not the only one,” Dr. Green said. Another article Dr. Matheson brought to his deposition: Conflict of interest refers to a “set of conditions in which professional judgment concerning a primary interest (patient’s welfare or the validity of research) is unduly influenced by a secondary interest (financial gain)” Bloss: Do you agree with that? Dr. Green: Yes, that’s a reasonable definition. (ABC7) Green agreed that many were valid definitions of conflicts of interest, but that he didn’t agree that money always created a conflict issue. (AP)

Bloss showed another article "Principles for Identifying and Assessing Conflicts of Interests." Bloss: Do you agree that financial interest is the most powerful corroding force in a conflict of interest? Dr. Green: In my experience, however, I've seen physicians do all sort of things for reasons other than financial. Dr. Green said he's not aware there's way to rate the most powerful conflict of interest. He believes financial interest can create conflict. Bloss showed a report, which summarizes physicians' statements. "When individuals stand to gain by reaching a particular conclusion, they tend to unconsciously and unintentionally weight evidence is a biased fashion." Dr. Green said psychologically speaking, he agrees with the statement above. "I agree money can corrode professional responsibility but I'm not sure it's the most corroding thing in conflict of interest" Dr Green said. Dr. Green said he agreed that the greater the value the more probable its influence is. He highlighted the word 'probable,' though. (ABC7)

Bloss showed Dr. Green MLB's policy on assessment and management of concussion on ballplayers. Policy was adopted in 2010 or 2011. Since then, MLB has to review team physician's actions before an athlete is allowed to return to play. Dr. Green said his position is more of an administrative position with MLB, he doesn't see the patients. He is responsible to make sure the latest rules regarding concussion is followed. He said it's a very controversial area. Bloss asked if the reason team does not have unilateral power to have athlete return to play is because of potential conflict of interest. Dr. Green responded the reason is because there's competition. "It's not about trusting the team's physician, it's about the competition." Dr Green testify he/MLB can deny a team physician's request to put a player back on the field after a concussion. The union doc also opines. Bloss asked if the reason is because there could be conflict of interest between team physician and his responsibility with the player. "Yes, in very small part," Dr. Green responded. "Part of my responsibility is to return athletes to play," he said. (ABC7) Bloss asked about Green’s work with Major League Baseball, specifically its concussion policy. Green reviews team doctors’ decision when a player suffers a concussion. He said a team doctor cannot return a player who has a concussion to a game without outside review. Green said the MLB policy isn’t about conflict of interests, but making sure no team had a competitive advantage “We have rules for everything, how you wear your socks, how you do everything,” Green said. “It has to do with the competitive balance.” (AP)

Bloss said on Jun 14 Gongaware's sent email saying "we need to remind him it's AEG, not MJ who's paying his salary"/"what's expected of him". Then on June 16 Dr. Murray received first draft of the contract agreement with provision that if tour were canceled the agreement would too. Dr. Green said that everyday after June 16, 2009, Dr. Murray knew about that provision. And that included June 24 and 25, the say MJ died. (ABC7)

Bloss asked about meeting nurse Cherilyn Lee had w/ MJ at some point. She testified on April 19 MJ complained of having trouble sleeping. MJ asked Lee to find a doctor who would give him Propofol. Dr. Green said this happened 13 days after Dr. Murray ordered Propofol. (ABC7)

Dr. Green is a clinical professor at UCLA, approximately 16 hours/week. He said there are clinical and tenure tracks. Dr. Green has no experience in the music business, has never worked in concert or for promoter of concerts. (ABC7)

"There could be conflict of interest in any case," Dr. Green said. Bloss asked if having a sole patient increases the risk. He said it could. Bloss: Does Dr. Murray's financial status matters at all to your opinion? Dr. Green: No, it does not. "I had a general impression that he was in debt," Dr. Green said. He believes his understanding was based on media reports on Dr. Murray. (ABC7)

Bloss asked if Detective Martinez suspected financial motive for Murray to violate Hippocratic oath. Dr. Green said that's what he testified. Bloss asked if getting easy money, $150,000 a month, created an incentive to bend the rules. "Yes, and I believe he (Det. Martinez) testified it was Dr. Murray's decision," Dr. Green said. (ABC7) Bloss also asked about testimony by LAPD Det. Orlando Martinez, who said he believed Murray needed money and that influenced his actions. (AP) 

Bloss: Is that true you cannot say why Dr. Murray acted ethically in this case? "Not knowing Dr. Murray and not hearing his testimony, I cannot say with certainty why Dr. Murray committed this crime," Dr. Green said. (ABC7) Green: “I cannot say within a reasonable degree of medical probability why Dr. Murray committed this crime.” (AP)

The doctor was asked whether he’d ever seen an agreement similar to the one between AEG Live, Jackson and Murray. Green said no (AP ) Bloss: Have you ever seen a three-way relationship between a physician, a patient and a third party? Dr. Green: No, nothing like this. Dr. Green testified his understanding is that AEG Live was going to advance money to Dr. Murray on behalf of Michael Jackson. Dr. Green agreed Dr. Murray's contract termination could be done by MJ and multiple ways by AEG Live unilateral. "I agree that the longer the tour went on, the more financial gain Dr. Murray would have," Dr. Green testified. (ABC7)

Based on MJ's physical condition in June 2009, Dr. Green said he has no reasonable opinion whether the tour should've been postponed or not. (ABC7)

Bloss concluded his questioning, and AEG Live defense attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina took over on re-direct. (AP)

AEG redirect

In re-cross Dr Green said he was retained in the case on March 4, 2013 to consider his expertise in sports medicine and conflict of interest . He was also asked to review Dr. Matheson's testimony. Dr. Green listed the depositions and declarations he reviewed prior to his own deposition. Dr Green attended almost all of Dr Matheson's deposition. He said he wanted to hear him saying his opinion as opposed to reading it on paper. Dr. Green: I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Matheson. If I had agreed with Dr. Matheson's opinion, I'd have communicated it to AEG. Dr. Green said there has been cases where he gave opinion that the attorneys ended up not using in their cases. Dr. Green: I considered the evidence and I came to my own conclusions. Dr. Green: My practice is that I present them to the attorneys and whatever they want to do with that is their business, not mine. "The more information I found, the more it strengthen my opinion," Dr. Green testified. (ABC7) She asked Green what he would have done if his opinion was the same as a plaintiff’s expert. He said he would have told AEG Live’s lawyers. Green said when that’s happened in other cases, the lawyers haven’t used him as an expert witness. “I look at opinions like I would a medical diagnosis,” Green said. He said new info sometimes changes his opinions. (AP)

Stebbins Bina asked Green about some of the conflict of interest definitions that Bloss asked about. Green said about one document that it was guidance for physicians only, not for third parties or patients. “Patients must be informed of financial incentives that could impact the level of care they receive,” one of the documents read. Green said Jackson was aware of incentives to Murray. “Not only was Michael Jackson informed of the financial incentives, he created them.” (AP) Bina asked about a doc shown on Friday about conflict of interest. Dr. Green said the document is a guidance for physicians on what to do. Bina asked about the article: "Patients must be informed of financial incentives that could impact the level or type of care they receive." Dr Green said the statement further proves his opinion. "Not only was MJ the patient informed of financial incentive, he created it as well" The expert said MJ requested Dr. Murray and suggested the payment of $150,000 a month. (ABC7)

Stebbins Bina asked Green about emails he reviewed in the case expressing concerns about Jackson’s health and whether they changed his opinions in the case. Green said they didn’t, because they didn’t indicate AEG was directing Michael Jackson’s care. Green said his interpretation of the the emails from AEG executives was that they were showing concern about Jackson’s health. (AP) Dr. Green said email Phillips wrote showed they were very concerned about MJ's health, proved his opinion that parties shared same interest. The expert said the fact that Dr. Murray told Ortega to "stay in your lane" proves the doctor was independent. (ABC7)

Dr. Green testified that, as a competent adult, you can't make anyone go see a doctor. Dr. Green said Dr. Klein saw MJ on June 22. He reviewed the medical records. He said Dr. Klein had seen MJ about 30 times between March and June and in no case he mentioned psychological problems. Dr. Green: The emails I reviewed really showed concern on behalf of AEG and I did not see anything AEG was directing the type of care. (ABC7)

Dr Green said he reviewed testimony Murray was off on Sundays. Apr 19 when MJ asked Lee to find a doctor to give him Propofol was Sunday. (ABC7)

Stebbins Bina wrapped up, and Bloss was able to ask a few concluding questions before court adjourned for the day. (AP)

Jackson recross

In re-cross, Bloss asked if $150,000 a month is large incentive, is it not? Dr. Green: In general, yes. "That's more than I make at Pepperdine as the team's physician," Dr. Green said. "By a lot." But he pointed out it's not his only job. (ABC7)

Bloss asked whether Green had any information about what Phillips and Murray discussed on their June 20, 2009 phone call. He didn’t. Green said he didn’t know whether they discussed drug use, medical treatment or any other topics. He only knew what Phillips testified about. (AP)

Bloss pointed out that when Dr. Murray told Ortega to "stay in your lane" if Phillips said anything. He said no. (ABC7)


Next witness is Rhoma Young, HR specialist as AEG's expert.